Kartik Aryan, The Birthday Boy Who Loves To Be Loved

Kartik Aryan  turned  30 on Sunday. But  he strikes me  as being  13 or maybe 15  , no more. He  is  childlike in his enthusiasm to  win approval .And he loves to  be  loved. I think  Kartik became  a  film actor  only so that  he would  get optimum attention. It took time, though.And Kartik  being a Scorpio had no patience  to wait for  stardom to happen.

Director  Luv Ranjan found  Kartik on Facebook. He  had auditioned  at least  50-55  young aspirants  for the  role  in Pyaar Ka Punchnama. It  was  Kartik who got the  role. The boy from Gwalior  finally  got  his break.

Recalling his initial days of struggle Kartik in an interview to  me  in 2018 had said , “I started really young and was youngest(sic.)  actor to debut as a lead in a movie and before entering the industry a senior person had told me once that generally, it takes 7 to 8 years to make your identity in this city, Mumbai. It may sound(sic.) a long span of time but trust me you won’t even realise and it will go like this(sic.) . But I feel you need to go through your own journey of struggle. It’s important, its neccesary. It teaches you a lot about life. It makes you to(sic.) value things in life. I used to travel from Navi Mumbai to Andheri for auditions via local train everyday. I used to get ready in railway stations’ washroom. But I had no option. I didn’t know anyone in the city. But today I feel happy and proud when I look back at(sic)  those days.”

(I have not changed any words   in  the  quote, because Kartik doesn’t like his words changed  in  interviews).

I remember  he was  first noticed  doing his  misogynistic monologue  in  Luv Ranjan’s Pyaar KaPunchnama. Looking  back at that  vehemently viral  voice striptease, it seems  like an embarrassment, almost like a  waiter rattling off  the  menu at a roadside dhaba. Initially  Kartikwas happy just getting recognition.He  would rattle  off the  monologue  on request with push-button dexterity.

But the sheer  constraint of being ‘that  boy who  did  the  monologue’ began to get  him.During the last  two years  Kartik has been desperately  desirous  of  acquiring the  image of a  ‘serious’ actor.With this purpose in his mind he surrendered  to Imtiaz Ali  for Love Aaj Kal  which  turned  out to be disastrous for both Kartik and  Sarah. Both are  energetic, physical actors, not much into expressing angst in close-ups.Imtiaz’s blurred vision couldn’t see how off-the-mark his judgment  was  this  time,  how  miscast Kartik Aryan was in a role that was  written for Ranbir Kapoor.

Success has come Kartik’s way with difficulty.He is  loved  by the audience for his flippant  frivolous flirtatious  lover-boy roles, the  lighter the better.Why darken the light road with hurdles? Why not  just be happy with the success that has come  his way ,and not without a struggle?

Has  success  changed Kartik? I think it has. But it’s also the way we perceive successful  people that has  changed.Kartik doesn’t drink alcohol,so he  makes a hasty exit from parties. If he did that now   we would say, ‘Look at  his starry  behavior. Nakhre  toh dekho.’

 So yes, success  does change  the  pieces  on  the board.I don’t know if Kartik  is  still the same  or pretending   still to be  the same. The answer to that  depends on how good an actor he is.

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